Archive for the ‘On Littles’ Category

A Big Day

[written Saturday, April 23, 2011]

Perhaps I should rename this blog, “Trying to Catch Up With the Days,” or, “A Mother’s Random Ramblings About Where the Time Went.”

Today we got a box in the mail.  In it were the math books that my children will use during the next school year (ordering early because there’s 20% off in April – woohoo!), including a kindergarten math book for my youngest child!  He is SO excited.  He’s also sure that he is going to start kindergarten tomorrow!  I, on the other hand, am wondering how on earth my youngest is old enough to start school!

My oldest child also got a big bike.  She’s been riding on two wheels for forever, but she needed a bike with a bigger frame . . . and the next size up really does look big.  It has shocks and gears and no foot breaks!  She and her dad had one of those coming of age talks, you know, . . . about how to not flip yourself over the handlebars by breaking with only the front breaks, and off she went – multiple speeds and all.

Little man also got a fever today . . . at least someone still needs me!

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Real life story, in real time:

I have a child, not my three year old, but one of the older ones, who lost something today.  I found it earlier.  It is sitting in plain sight in his/her bedroom.  Plain sight, not hidden AT ALL.  This child frequently  looses things, and does not look for them.  Instead he/she turns into a puddle and expects me to find them.  Today though I have decided to let him/her hunt until he/she finds.  This child has been looking on and off (we’ve done school and a chore in between spells of hunting) for, no kidding, almost four hours.  He/she has been in tears twice, and he/she has accused others of moving it (though I’m relatively sure that that was not the case, considering where I found it laying).  Said child has also accused the thing of getting up and moving itself. When he/she comes to me and tells me that the task is impossible, I just remind him/her that he/she is capable, that he/she will find it, and that he/she needs to keep looking.

Let me also say that this thing is not small; it is a spiral bound book made of 8 1/2 x 11 pages with a bright cover.

Would you help him/her find it???

And quick!  I’m going NUTS!

Update: A few hours later, after much more hunting aimless wanding around the house called “looking for it” and a few breaks to do other stuff, the book was found.  There were a few hints from a mother who just happened to be sitting in just the right place folding laundry…but it was found.  I celebrated; the child cried.  How’s that for, “I’m so glad to see you again!”

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Childhood Songs

One of the thing that I just absolutely love about watching my children be children:

hearing them sing songs about anything and everything!  Sometimes they sing about what they are doing or playing.  Sometimes they sing conversations they are having.  Sometimes they make up words to classical music they have heard.  Sometimes they sing to their dolls/stuffed animals/lovies.  And just the other day Dimples was singing, “Twinkle twinkle little star, dum, dum, dum, dum, I don’t know…”

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Note To Self, re: Toys


You just moved all of the toys from their home in the basement to another location in your home (so that the builders could work on the basement).  Now the children act like they have all new toys!

If you remember correctly, this happened when you moved the toys to the basement too.

And before that when you rearranged the toys.


You need not ever buy another toy for your children.


Just move them.



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Last night I went grocery shopping by myself.

As I was putting my groceries in the bags (yes, I go to one of those bag your own grocery stores.  It saves us a few bucks, and I like to bag my own groceries.  It’s a sickness similar to my love of all things office supply and my love of furniture with lots of little organizational drawers!)

So anyway, as I was bagging my own groceries, I heard an announcement over the intercom.

“Clean up on isle 12.  Broken glass and liquid clean up on isle 12.”

And I was practically giddy with the thought that I (or my dear children) wasn’t the one responsible.  I hadn’t even been in isle 12!

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I was giggling to myself today about how my youngest likes to wear his undies backwards; he likes to see the characters.  Then I started thinking about how it is that my littlest one has come to wear undies…and no diapers.  How on earth did he get to be so big!

So then I started thinking about how I got to the end of this season of mothering babies and toddlers.

I had no idea that the days would seem so long, sometimes with hours tumbling into never-ending cycles of making messes and cleaning them up.

I had no idea that it would be so messy, that I would spent hours sweeping the floor and cleaning various sticky things off of the bottom half of the windows.

I had no idea that it would be exhausting, that there would be days when all I had to do to fall asleep was stand still for 1.5 seconds…or even think about standing still.

I had no idea that it would be so loud, so loud.  I had no idea that nap time would my favorite part of the day, not because the kids were ridiculously cute while sleeping but simply because no one was talking non-stop into my ear.  No one was asking telling me to watch their every move.  “Look mom, I’m standing on one foot!”  “Look, mom!  I can jump!”  “Look, mom!  I am walking backward.”  “Look, mom!  I am breathing!”

I had no idea that it would be complicated – cloth diapers or disposable…nursing or formula…organic vegetables or the affordable stuff…the cute shoes or the mom’s-taking-the-kids-to-the-zoo shoes…double stroller or make one child walk…and on and on.

I had no idea it would be so emotional – a roller coaster, first filled with pregnancy hormones later succumbing to the excruciating pain of not being able to make all the boo-boos go away with just a kiss and the delight of giggles that fill my entire soul with laughter.

I had no idea that I would look back and be overwhelmed with the feeling that this season had been so short.

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Sweet Success

Yesterday, I felt, was a success.

I ended the day with a sense of great satisfaction despite the fact that I didn’t get dinner on the table (Handsome ended up cooking dinner, because I didn’t plan well), despite the fact that we were late to library time (just a bit, because I had to take that phone call that came just as we needed to leave), and despite the fact that I felt hurried all day.

It’s not often that I call a day a success; much more often my failures loom large, casting shadows over my recollections of the hours that ticked by.

But yesterday, as I recounted our events, I was able to savor the sweet success of finishing school early in the day and visiting the park – twice!

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Really, I have said each of these things (one of them more than once) in the recent past:

  • “Dimples, don’t put your mouth on people’s bottoms, please.”
  • “No, you don’t get to try on underwear; you just have to know your size…why?  Well, because people generally don’t want to take home underwear that other people have tried on.”  (shudder)
  • “You sucked on it!?!  Why didn’t you tell me that BEFORE I put it in my mouth!?!”

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Brushing toddler teeth: fun the first time or two, not so much after that. Two times a day – at least.

When we were learning to brush our first child’s teeth a million years ago, we stumbled across a little trick that helps get the pearly whites brushed with little fuss!

Sit or stand with your child facing you.

Start by having your child say “Ahhhh!” {Like the sound you make at the doctor.} You make the sound and have your child repeat it. When your child opens up, brush away. Start with a short, “Ahhh!”, then have your child say “Ahhh!” longer and longer each day until he or she is used to opening wide long enough for you to get the whole job done.

When you get all of the inside bit brushed, have your child say, “Eeeeeee!” with his teeth clenched. Then you can brush the front teeth.

Sometimes we vary this little game by, “Ahhh”-ing in different pitches to see if the little one with follow along. Dimples loves this, and is really good and repeating the exact pitch back to me!

As always, don’t forget to check out Works For Me Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer!

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Last year, I mentioned that my strategy for beating away the summer boredom was to keep a schedule (many more helpful ideas in that post). I wasn’t so sure how it would work, but it did – it worked so very well. Then I had two children; now I have four…so this summer is again a testing ground of sorts.

We did so much stuff last summer, and it was all great fun. I hated to see the summer come to an end and practically begged my eldest to let me homeschool her. She would have none of it.

One of the things that worked particularly well was our Field Trip Fridays. I have a group of friends (five of us usually, but others join in occasionally) that agreed to visit a new spot every Friday. We set up a private blog and posted about plans there. We shared coupons and packed picnics at every chance we had, so many of our field trips were very reasonably priced.

Some of the days were simple playdate/picnic adventures. Some were much more elaborate, like the day we went to the water park. (I’ll be hiring a teen to help me with that field trip this year!) Here’s a few ideas for you: local art museum, botanical gardens, swimming, Are there any farms in your area – go visit the animals or pick fruit, a local children’s museum, discount movies at theaters or a movie day in someone’s home, indoor bounce centers (there are places that have those giant inflatable things that your kids can jump on in air conditioned bliss!), nature hikes, practice manners and take your kids to a nicer restaurant for lunch, the zoo, ice skating, factory tours, …and there’s so much more out there to do!

The other thing that worked well was to have a daily routine. Kids like predictability, and no one is going to have fun if the kids are tired or hungry; use that to your advantage. Have them get up at a decent time, get ready for the day, practice anything that needs practicing (here it’s piano and phonics this summer), and do a couple chores to start out each day. I am also hoping to get a simple devotion in each morning, but that so far I’ve been struggling to fit it in before nap time. We do all different things each day of the week, but unless we are on a field trip, we have lunch and rest time about the same time each day. It keeps us all well fueled for all the fun!

I hope your summer is blessed and loads of fun – in the meantime join me in reading everyone’s great Works for Me Wednesday ideas at Rocks In My Dryer!

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